Ensuring the smooth running of all manner of live entertainment from musical theatre, comedy, literary recitals and more, all under one roof, is no mean feat. Since October 2017, it has been the responsibility expertly taken on by The Crazy Coqs’ Manager, Rebecca Little. We thought you may like to know a little about her background and vision for the space, so we went behind the scenes to find out more…
What were you up to before joining The Crazy Coqs?
Before I joined the team at Zédel, I was working at a cocktail jazz bar in Shoreditch where I’d been for six and a half years. I started there as a cocktail waitress and left as the manager. I loved it and learnt a huge amount about cocktails, spirits and met a host of fantastic musicians.
There was live music every night of the week and it became really clear to me that my next job had to involve live performance in some description – that’s what makes it really interesting for me.
What do you enjoy most about your role here?
The variety. The different performers you meet and the different performances you see – it’s nice to strike up a good relationship with them. We do have a few residencies at The Crazy Coqs, where the same performer is with us for a week or so and that’s a good opportunity to build up a rapport with them. Dad’s Army Radio Hour had a residency with us a while back and the actors were just so lovely they became part of the team.
Also, just working in this incredible space is inspiring in itself – it’s an amazing building.
And the most challenging aspect?
I would say it’s trying to keep everyone happy. You have to juggle everyone’s needs and requests at the same time – an artist, a new customer, a regular and so on… If the artist isn’t happy, the show won’t be good!
What’s your favourite type of performance?
I love the live music shows because they’re a little more laid back. I really enjoy the jazz and the cabaret. My favourite performers that I have had the pleasure of seeing at The Crazy Coqs include Sarah Jane Morris, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll and Dom Pipkin. I’ve also seen some great cabaret: Eve Ferret, Miss Hope Springs and The Black Cat Cabaret are all brilliant. It’s hard to pin point one thing in particular. Sometimes you witness a show that is truly special, where the energy between the performers and the audience is magic and it’s a real buzz to be there.
You’re just about to launch a new initiative for The Crazy Coqs – ‘Round Midnight. Tell us a little about that?
We currently have two shows a night, most nights – one at 7pm and one at 9.15pm. We felt it would be nice to then have a non-ticketed show on a Saturday evening to follow on from that, starting around 11.15pm – something a bit less formal. That’s where the idea of ‘Round Midnight came from – it’s free of charge, no reservations needed and it provides a platform for bands of all genres to perform in our distinctive space.
What advice would you give to someone who’d like to do what you’re doing?
You have to enjoy working with people. I’ve always worked in hospitality – from the age of 15 in fact, when I worked in my first pub. I thought the cocktail jazz bar would be just another rung on the ladder before I worked out what I wanted to do, but it’s there that I realised all the opportunities on offer. You have to love it – there is a lot you have to put up with especially in the early days and you’re only going to do that if you enjoy it!